Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Special Flight, Reflections

Mary and I received news Monday that a very good friend of ours Mother had passed. I put a leave slip in to take the day off so that we could attend the services. I met our friend through my job back in September of 1990, we instantly hit it off. Her family lives just a stones throw away from where we live. 17 years....that's a long time and her parents were always very special to me. Good folks, great sense of humor and always ready to welcome you into their home.

Mary and I attended the service at our local church and I can not remember ever seeing so many people lined up for visitation in my life. The church was actually full. I guess I should not have expected any less for a person that had such a giving spirit.

My Bride, the most gentle heart I have ever known was taken back by some of the simple facts we must face. At the young age of 60 a Mother, Grandmother, sister,wife and friend leaves a void in us all. How many years will her daughters not have her around for advice and that special time when it's safe to confide in the one who knows you best. Mary thinks of all this while realizing how lucky she is to have her Mom. We can only be there to support or friends and their family.

After the services Mary and I decided to go fly, it's where we both love to be. A short hop today just to get in the air and have some quiet time looking at world from our favorite perspective while we make heads or tails of all that went on today. Mary was quiet and actually closed her eyes for a good part of the 30 minute flight. I concentrated on the tasks at hand while enjoying the very freedom of flight. A few radio calls to announce our position and look for traffic had us on final following a Caravan doing touch and goes at Millville.

We decided to eat at our favorite place Antino's. A few refreshing ice teas later and with full tummy's we were ready to head back home. Again our flight was quiet, looking for traffic and working our way into Wilmington. We were directed to enter a left downwind for one nine and we acknowledged. We called out traffic, a Rick Hendrick Motorsports Saab 2000 N511RH at our 10 o' clock, No. 1 for landing on a right down wind and shadowed her on the left down wind. Once the Saab turned base to final we followed suit, having already added the second notch of flaps to keep me slowed for spacing. Our glide slope looked good and we figured why not try a short field landing since there was an aircraft (Cessna 172) shooting an ILS approach for runway 1 (they were cleared No. 3 to land). We landed just past the numbers at 60 kts on center and needed to add throttle to make the first right hand turn off at Kilo. Over to ground point seven and cleared to taxi home (Red Eagle).

We had the chance to chat with one of our neighbors that is in a club aircraft (C-172) He was a very nice man and we spent 15-20 minutes chatting about clubs, aircraft, flight time, weather and whatever else crossed our minds.

Finally home and sitting here typing our flight review, I can only think how lucky we are to be able to look at the world from the sky above. Life is short, we should all try and live it to the fullest each day. Yes, I know, we hear this all the time but it's our plan. I know Mary and I always think of tomorrow and saving for a rainy day, but today is the day to let someone know how much you care and how much they mean to you. Mary is talking to her Mom right now, as she does every day. I think I'll go give her a big hug and smooch and remind her again today how much I really do love her.

You will be missed but never forgotten Bernie, by family and friends, blue skies.

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